Take Five With Tony Foster
Teachers and/or influences?
Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Ray Brown, Ahmad Jamal, Monty Alexander, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Erik Satie, Cedar Walton, Jimmy Smith, Bill Evans.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I realized how insanely fun it was to improvise while playing trumpet in junior high school.
Your sound and approach to music:
I'm sold on powerful melodies...make it groove and you're getting somewhere...sometimes I think melody and rhythm can trump harmony...but, most great songs contain strong contributions from all 3 of these aspects...when I play, I try to play something fresh and new...react to who I'm playing with...where I'm playing...who we're playing for...I look for inspiration in all these areas.
Your teaching approach:
Don't really teach at the moment...as a student of this music, I barely have enough time to work on everything I want to with respect to my own playing!
Your dream band:
I'd love to work with bassist Rodney Whitaker, Christian McBride, Jerry Bergonzi, Jack DeJohnette, John Clayton
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
I'm happy with how my first release In Between Moods turned out, and the warm response it's been receiving, but I've got a lot of new material ready for the 2nd and 3rd releases already!so, Look out!
The first Jazz album I bought was:
Kind of Blue, Miles Davis
Did you know...
Went to a try-out for the Chicago White Sox when I was 16 as a pitcher.
CDs you are listening to now:
John Coltrane - Standard Coltrane - Prestige
McCoy Tyner - Soliloquy - Blue Note
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - The Best of Two Worlds - Columbia
Desert Island picks:
Ahmad Jamal - At The Pershing: But Not For Me - Chess
McCoy Tyner - The Real McCoy - Blue Note
Getz/Gilberto - Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim - VERVE
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue - Blue Note
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
There are so so many amazing musicians today who are carrying on this great art-form...I think jazz is very healthy...it's interesting how jazz is changing along with the digital age and internet age...some magazines are becoming digital....but overall, jazz is healthy!
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Music which grabs a live audience...people need to feel it....be able to relate with where you're going in a particular song at a particular moment...not losing the audience in some sort of self-indulgence...playing as freaky or straight-ahead as I want, but still relating to the audience is key!
What is in the near future?
Currently working on a quartet with a wonderful Russian saxophonist named Dimitry Shapko...the project is inspired by the great "groovers" like Eddie Harris, Lou Donaldson...the jazzy stuff in the 60s that made people move...I want to get to audiences on that level...for all the younger people who have no idea who Eddie Harris and Lou Donaldson are..
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
Major League Baseball player making $12.5 million a season to pitch 10-15 games.